If you become injured or sick on the job, workers’ compensation (WC) benefits can be of great benefit to you by helping you cover certain crucial and often large costs. Under Ohio WC regulations, you as an employee will get paid and have medical costs covered if you elect to receive WC benefits. In return, you give up the right to sue your employer over the injury or illness you incurred.
Nearly every employee in Ohio must be covered by a WC policy through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). That policy will cover a range of medical costs associated with an injury or illness, as well as wages for time off work due to the injury, and settlements for permanent disabilities caused by the injury.
So what medical costs does Ohio WC cover?
Provided that your claim is allowed, Ohio WC will cover medical treatment recommended by your doctor that is proper and necessary to treat your industrially related condition, as well as related costs that can help you return to your current job—or help you seek a new one, provided that your injury or illness prevents you from returning to that current job. That may include things such as:
- Emergency care
- Physician appointments
- Equipment (e.g., wheelchair or special vehicle)
- Ongoing treatment for your injury or illness
- Prescriptions related to the injury or illness. Note that it is very important to inform your pharmacist that the medications you’re receiving for your WC-related injury or illness will be covered by WC. If you don’t, you may have to pay for the prescription(s) up front and then wait for reimbursement.
- Hospital stays
- Imaging studies (e.g., x-rays)
- Blood tests
- Rehabilitation treatment. These benefits pay for the medical and physical therapy that is necessary to help you cope with and recover from your injury or illness. Rehabilitation benefits also cover care and training that is necessary to help you regain skills and abilities that you’ll need once you eventually return to work.
In cases where your injury or illness does not make it possible for you to return to your former job, rehabilitation benefits could be used to fund evaluation, retraining, tuition, and other expenses associated with helping you become qualified to work at a different job.
- Occasionally, transportation costs to and from appointments
- In some instances, workers’ compensation may also cover services like counseling, pain therapy and acupuncture.
Generally speaking, only widely accepted Western medical practices will be covered by WC in the state of Ohio. For alternative, experimental or investigative treatments or therapies, you may want to get an attorney’s help to obtain coverage.
WC also pays out for things such as lost wages (i.e., time that you can’t work due to the injury or illness), temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability.
If you receive WC benefits for a job-related injury or illness, then you are giving up the right to sue your employer for compensation separately. Note that in some cases, you may actually receive greater compensation from a lawsuit than from the WC benefits. Before making any decision, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to carefully consider all your options. An experienced WC attorney can help you chart the best path forward based on your specific circumstances and needs.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. are highly knowledgeable regarding the complexities of workers’ compensation law. We offer the personalized service that injury victims deserve.
In the event you or a loved one is injured at work, you need to seek immediate legal advice. Contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members. Learn more about your workers’ compensation rights from the workers’ compensation resources listed below.
Workers’ compensation resources:
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Handbook for Injured Employees
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Injured Worker Questions and Answers